On Saturday morning we attended our community wide park cleanup day, and while there I overheard some women talking about the overabundance of figs they had picked. Naturally curious, I quickly joined their conversation and began asking all about where they picked there figs. It turns out that one of the local historic sites in town, the Durst-Taylor house, has two very large fig trees and they allow passersby to pick the figs since they cannot keep up with the ample supply. I cannot say enough good things about the Durst-Taylor House, the tour was amazing, I learned a lot of local history and the grounds (plants included) are all period appropriate! Feel free to check out their website for fun, local historic events. http://www.ci.nacogdoches.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=693
The first recipe I came up with is the Fig and Goat Cheese Crustini. We served it as an appetizer for our house guests and it was a huge hit.
1 small Whole grain loaf of bread. (I bought mine from the bakery, but you could choose to make your own fresh bread too.)
one 3 0z package of spreadable goat cheese
About 10-15 figs
Raw honey (about 2-3 tablespoons)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the whole grain bread into thin round slices (about ½ inch thick), then spread a generous amount of goat cheese on one side of the bread. Slice your raw figs into ¼ inch thick rounds and place them atop the goat cheese. Drizzle a small amount of honey over each fig and place the crustinis onto an ungreased metal baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until desired crispness. The honey will have melted and the cheese should be warm. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Next I decided to make some fig jam, but I’m not always partial to all the added sugar in jam. I like my jam a little more tart then you would find in the store and I also went with stevia as my sweetener instead of the usual sugar. To make this fig jam you will need:
1 lb fresh figs
3 packets or tsp stevia
3 TBSP of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Trim the stems from the figs, and cut them in half. Combine the figs, stevia and lemon juice in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer mixture to a pot on the stove and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat slightly and, stirring constantly, cook until the hot jam is thickened and figs are soft. (about 10 minutes). When cooled, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Blend until the fig jam is smooth, then transfer to glass jars and refrigerate until used, or can them in canning jars and keep them on the shelve.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or coconut oil (I used ½ organic butter and ½ unrefined coconut oil, but both work great! )
1/2 cup sugar (I used organic unbleached sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
½ cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
Mix by hand or in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Mix on medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes).
Add the one egg and beat for another minute. Gradually add flour and beat on medium speed until just blended.
Split the dough in two and place onto 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Shape each one into an even flat disc and fold over the plastic wrap to cover. Refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour, or until firm enough to roll out.
On a well-floured piece of parchment paper, roll one disc of dough into a rectangle about 4 inches by 15 inches and about ¼ to 1/8 inch thick. Spread the fig jam in the center of the rectangle of dough. Fold the right and left sides in towards each other. They will overlap. Cut the roll into 2 inch thick slices and place seam side down on the slip mat.